A Prefabricated Precast Concrete Bridge System for the State of Alabama

Traditionally, cast-in-place concrete construction has been the primary method for building bridges in the State of Alabama. This method requires large amounts of time and labor at the project site. These factors can lead to traffic impacts in the forms of road closures, delays, congestion, detours, and often the need to work over a traveled roadway. With greater demand being placed on U.S. roadways and a large number of the nation’s bridges in need of repair or replacement, bridge construction and rehabilitation are becoming national issues for state departments of transportation. For the reasons aforementioned the Federal Highway Administration has, for the last few years, been actively promoting the use of prefabricated precast concrete bridge systems to state departments of transportation because of their ability to rapidly decrease construction times for bridge projects. The objective of this study was to examine the existing practices in prefabricated bridge construction using precast concrete components, and to recommend a totally prefabricated concrete bridge system for use on the Alabama highway system. Current trends and practices in prefabricated bridge construction were reviewed. The specific elements examined were deck panels, girders, bent caps, columns, piers, and abutments. Superstructure and substructure systems were also examined and summarized. A number of systems were ranked according to their suitability for use in Alabama. Guidelines for selection, design, and construction of these systems were produced. Finally, a system was proposed to the Alabama Department of Transportation. Based on this evaluation and consultation with the Alabama Department of Transportation, a totally prefabricated precast concrete system, referred to as the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) precast bridge system, was developed. The system, consisting of bulb-tee girders, rectangular voided bent caps, rectangular voided columns, and a precast abutment cap, was selected for construction of grade separation structures in Alabama.

  • Record URL:
  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This research was funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation, University Transportation Centers Program.
  • Corporate Authors:

    University of Alabama, Birmingham

    Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering
    1075 13th Street South
    Birmingham, AL  United States  35294

    University Transportation Center for Alabama

    University of Alabama
    Tuscaloosa, AL  United States  35487
  • Authors:
    • Fouad, Fouad H
    • Rizk, Tarek
    • Stafford, Edward Luke
    • Hamby, Dwain
  • Publication Date: 2006-11-2


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Edition: Final Report
  • Features: Figures; Photos; References;
  • Pagination: 77p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01044277
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: UTCA Report 05215
  • Contract Numbers: DTRS98-G-0028 (Grant)
  • Files: UTC, TRIS
  • Created Date: Mar 17 2007 8:39AM